Hush, Little Baby

Born into minimalism, I was named wee Colleen.  Upon my father’s first sight he said, “She looks like a prune.”  or so the story goes.  The nurses who were dear carried  me around with pride,  an accomplishment as I barely survived.  Their accomplishment shone through as they hugged and cuddled me.  My dear mother, you see, had sadly checked out, fighting for her own life too. And continuing on, when Mom awoke, she, the good parent, let me rest at the foot of the bed.  

“Dear mother,” the nurses were reported to say, “do hold your baby.”

“She’s sleeping.” my mother replied.  “I don’t want to spoil her”

And I learned not to cry.

Surely, it wasn’t just one incident that defined my emotional life.  Rather, happenings piled up, one on another in a type of race for first position.  Then there was the Christmas day when gift after gift was laid on the carriage when I slept.  Dear Mom was so overjoyed that others had stepped forward and bestowed their kindness with gifts–pretty little taffeta dresses, all ribbons and bows lovingly laid on the carriage as the family rejoiced.  

Round six o’clock and family feeding time , Dear Mom said: “Oh, I  forgot to feed the baby’”  

Just a few weeks shy of my third month, I had learned not to cry.

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